Last time I told you that I was going to tell about my vacation so here comes the first part. This will also help you figure out why the far-famed performer (calling her as just a singer will be unfair) Lady Gaga is placed at the right side of this incredibly delicious piece of Chocolate Monster Cake I call.
A couple of months ago, I miraculously managed to get two tickets to Lady Gaga’s “The Monster Ball Tour” which is said to be a phenomenal performance to be seen. Initially I aimed to buy tickets for the Paris stop but there was not even one ticket left both for two nights. The situation in Rome was the same but I was determined to buy the tickets even I need to check each and every country on the list. Finally I found two of the last tickets left (what’s more, each seat in a different row!) for the show in Antwerp.
We flew to Paris first and from there headed for Antwerp with the car we rent just to make a change (what a brilliant idea!). Let me tell you one crucial thing at that point; do not make a change, never ever consider renting a car in Paris. I am serious. Even though I live in Istanbul which is also well known for its traffic jams, it rarely takes two hours to get in the nearest highway exit on a week day. I really do not want to remember this part of the trip, be hundred percent sure that train is the best choice.
To me, Antwerp seems like a deserted city; there are few people on the streets, in the restaurants, or anywhere you may think. I was asking myself “How come on earth, they will find enough people to fill the concert area for two consecutive nights?”. Then I made such a strange assumption that all of the city dwellers were resting at their homes to save their energy to dance with Lady Gaga that night.
The common side of Belgian cities is that one day is well enough to discover the city and to see the basics. Unfortunately food is not varied compared to other sides of Belgium, waffle and mussels are again the most well known examples of local cuisine in Antwerp. I will give you an outstanding mussel recipe by the time I find fresh and quality mussels in the fish market to retest it. As for the waffle, you may check this post to find all about its history and a delectable recipe as a bonus.
The city has more to offer when it comes to design and fashion industry. There are many local brands, hip stores and well known fashion labels like Dries Van Noten originated in here. It is a better idea to cruise around the central area and discover these nice stores. Diamond exchange market might be another attraction if you are inherited some diamonds from your beloved aunt.
As for me, my favourite was the Dille&Kamille store with all its culinary supplies, simple but chic tableware, cutlery, home and garden accessories etc. It is one of the stores that provide you a peaceful atmosphere to spend hours in it and makes you want to buy each and every item you see for your house.
As the sun sets down, we put our tickets in our pockets and headed for our appointment with Lady Gaga that night. I was planning to take beautiful photos from the concert but unfortunately security people took my camera, on the grounds that it was too professional. So sad but not enough, second shock was on the way; our hardly found separate seats had the worst possible viewing angle (this explains why I was able to find them in the first place). We moved to a better place accepting the fact that we would be standing all night on top of our exhausted feet.
No matter how hard were the conditions, Lady Gaga’s show was amazing. Let alone her fantastic performance as a singer, scene settings, choreography, costumes and theatrical details were awesome. It looks like the music world found its next revolutionary. Lady Gaga was already named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year. If you have a chance to visit any of the countries included in her tour schedule, rush to buy your tickets (if not sold out already!).
It was one of the best live performances I have ever seen up to now. Her recent song “Monster” inspired me to call this cake as Chocolate Monster due to its 250 gram dark chocolate content. It is a bit fancy, not fancier than a Gaga dress though, with its waved style chocolate coating on top and raspberry-chocolate cream filling inside. Once you prepare it, call your friends to share before you taste. Otherwise it is highly possible that you will turn into a selfish monster after the first piece and will keep it all for yourself. Eat responsibly!
Note:I never use photographs taken by other parties on this blog. However due to restrictions my camera was taken before the concert. That’s why I used Lady Gaga photos from her official website.
Ingredients (makes 8-10 servings)
For the cake
- 6 eggs
- 125 g (4,5 oz) plain flour
- 175 g (6 oz) sugar
- 85 g (3 oz) melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50 g (1,75 oz) cocoa powder (a high quality one like Varlhona is preferred)
For the filling
- 450 g (15,8 oz) raspberries (washed and drained)
- 120 ml (4 fl.oz) heavy cream
- 150 g (5,3 oz) quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 2 tablespoon Kirsch (optional)
For the coating
- 100 g (3,5 oz) quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 40 g (1,4 oz) butter
|1.||Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), place the rack in the middle.|
|2.||Line the bottom of a 23cm (9 in) springform cake tin with baking paper, and lightly grease the sides of the tin.|
|3.||Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with simmering water (make sure that the bowl does not touch the saucepan at the bottom or on the sides (I recommend to immerse a thin metal cookie cutter in the simmering water and place the bowl on top of it)|
|4.||Whisk the mixture until it is pale and thick (as shown in the picture) then remove from the heat and keep on whisking until cooled down slightly.|
|5.||Sift the cocoa powder and flour together into the egg mixture and fold.|
|6.||Add vanilla extract and melted butter and combine all of them using a metal spoon or a spatula.|
|7.||Transfer to the prepared cake tin and level the surface. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until you stick in a toothpick and it comes out clean.|
|8.||Turn the cake out on a wire rack and remove the baking paper, allow the cake to cool down completely. After it is cooled down, carefully cut it down to two layers.|
|9.||Whisk the heavy cream with an electric mixer on high speed till it holds its shape.|
|10.||Melt 150 gram chocolate in a bowl placed over hot water and combine with the whipped cream by using your electric mixer.|
|11.||Place the lower layer of the cake on a serving plate and drizzle one tablespoon of Kirsch. Spread half of the chocolate cream and place all of the raspberries. Spread the second half of chocolate cream and cover the top of the raspberries very well.|
|12.||Place the second layer and drizzle a tablespoon of Kirsch.|
|13.||Melt the butter and chocolate for the coating in a bowl set over hot water and blend well.|
|14.||Spread the coating on top and side of the cake and draw some patterns on top if you like to make it fancier.|
|15.||Freeze at least 6 hours for the cake to be set, and then serve.|